We woke up to a beautiful snowfall this morning. The only thing that could have been more beautiful would have been a school delay, so I could have slept in 🙂 Eric was up very early to travel out of town for one of his outreach clinics, thankfully the roads were okay.
Nora is still crying at school drop-off. We’re waiting for some of the same test results we received for Nadia. Do I think Nora has full-blown PANS/PANDAS? No, but I do think there might be something going on with her immune system which in turn is causing some neurological symptoms, like the mood swings, separation anxiety, trouble getting and staying asleep, etc. I’m anxious to see her results which we should have in maybe a week or so.
Nadia is doing surprisingly well despite the fact that we completely stopped her antibiotic a few weeks ago, which she had been on for months and months. I was scared, but so far so good. We’re working on more gut healing now, both through trying to reduce gluten and processed sugars, and also with a few supplements which are known to increase the intestines mucosal layer and tighten cell junctions. I say trying to reduce gluten, as it’s really, really hard. And we really should be reducing dairy too, but what the hell would she eat then?? It’s definitely been a process. Some days I feel like we do okay, other days we mess up a lot and eat awful crap. My main issue is planning ahead, as it’s the days I haven’t planned exact meals that we grab something quick. One of my biggest issues with both the girls is their snacking. They want to snack all the time, always saying they are hungry, but when they sit down for a snack they eat a few bites and want to move onto something else. Drives me crazy. It’s occurred to me that maybe we snack so often, that the don’t even understand the feelings of hungry and full. And OMG healthy food is expensive. And we have wasted so much lately as I try new things and then no one in the house will eat it…
Last week I worked really, really hard and finally submitted almost everything the surrogacy agency needs to move forward in search of our particular surrogate. Let me backup, as I’m not sure how much of this I have shared… A few months ago we connected with a legal team in Illinois that specializes in surrogacy law. We signed a contract with them to represent us in the agreement with the agency that will locate our surrogate, which is also located in Illinois, the only agency our fertility clinic uses. We finally reviewed and signed the agreement with the surrogacy agency too. So many agreements! Then we were asked to submit a few items to move forward:
- Background check forms, easy enough, basically just signatures to allow them to pull our information.
- A large sum of money, both for a beginning escrow account to pull needed expenses from, and also a fund specifically for the surrogate’s travel and other expenses.
- A bio about our family, basically why we are looking for a surrogate, what lead us to this point, about our lives growing up, our families, about the girls… you get the idea. I assume it’s similar to something adoptive parents might submit to birth mothers. Potential surrogates will read it and decide if we are a family they want to work with.
- A bunch of pictures of our family.
- A lengthy questionnaire detailing our preferences, for example, would you terminate for down syndrome, do you have a preference of the racial background of your surrogate, are there any religious beliefs that need to be considered… It was kind of long.
- Proof of marriage, which can you believe we couldn’t actually find our marriage certificate?? We requested another copy for the state. Hopefully it doesn’t actually take the two months to arrive which the paperwork stated… I actually don’t know why they need proof of marriage, as you don’t have to be married to use a surrogate. But, whatever I guess.
- And then proof of any prior marriages or divorces. And of course I couldn’t find my paperwork from my divorce that was like fifteen years ago. I looked everywhere and came up empty handed. I thought you could look up divorces through the court system, but I couldn’t find anything online. I’ll have to keep searching for something I guess.
The other necessary requirements I think we already completed, like the psychological evaluation, physical exams, lots of testing, like STD, AIDS, etc., I guess because they are putting our tissue (the embryo, which is currently frozen) into someone else. But the embryo was created almost eight years ago, so not sure how testing us for those things is necessary now when we were tested way back when during IVF for this things.
So that’s what I know at this point, basically waiting for the marriage license and still searching for divorce documents. I assume finding a suitable surrogate isn’t exactly an easy process, but the agency does specialize in this, so I trust they know what they are doing, and just hope it doesn’t take the full twelve months or so that our contract states they have to find such a woman.
More to come on this!